Lunchtime on April 30 2009, and Amanda Staveleys
private banker on the Isle of Man has just emailed her with
confirmation that a sum of £29.5 million ($45.7 million)
has been deposited into her account.
The note from Douglas might have provided a bitter-sweet
moment for the Dubai-based Staveley, the Yorkshire-born
dealmaker building a reputation gladhanding high-octane deals
in the Gulf, after a hectic few months helping arrange one of
the defining transactions of the 2008 global financial crisis:
Abu Dhabis £3.5 billion investment in Barclays
Bank six months earlier.
Sweet because she had
finally received a commission for the Barclays deal that
shed been sweating on Gulf potentates paying for a long
But bitter because the amount received was some way short of
what shed initially hoped to garner for her role in the
Barclays rescue, a deal dubbed 'Project Mandolin'.
The disclosure of the fees paid to Staveley and her firm PCP
Capital Partners revealed in a dossier of documents
relating to the transaction and seen by Euromoney will
also stir mixed emotions among Barclays shareholders.
At the time of the capital raising, many were up in arms at
the highly generous terms offered not just to
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Abu Dhabi royal and
UAE deputy prime minister, whose participation Staveley had
helped arrange, but also to Qatar Holdings, one of neighbouring
Qatars sovereign wealth funds.
Euromoneys disclosures cast the first light on what
happened to the £110 million in fees paid by Barclays
and its shareholders nominally to Sheikh Mansour,
but in reality to a cast of advisers, associates and family
members, of which Staveley was a big beneficiary.
The documents seen by Euromoney a collection of
business exchanges, and emails written or sent by Staveley, her
colleagues and her contacts from 2008 to 2009 also show
how public disclosures about the Mansour investment masked the
realities of how close run the deal was, and how complex
and arguably misleading the nature of the capital
injection from Abu Dhabi was.
They provide a fascinating insight into how the west meets
the Middle East when it comes to doing business for
eye-watering sums of money, as well as how frantic attempts to
secure the money for the Barclays investment were, pulling in a
range of some of the biggest names in the financial markets,
from the US to China.
The entire round of capital raisings by Barclays in 2008
first a £4.5 billion injection in June by existing
shareholders, principal among them the
Qatar Investment Authority and Challenger, an entity
representing Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin
followed by the £7.3 billion injection by Mansour and
the Qataris in November have been shrouded in rumour,
mystery, intrigue and speculation.
They are also the subject of investigation. Barclays has
disclosed that the UKs Financial Services Authority and
Serious Fraud Office are looking into commercial agreements
between Barclays and Qatari interests and if these were related
to the two Barclays capital raisings in 2008.
There is also an investigation by the US Department of
Justice and the US SEC into whether or not Barclays'
relationships with third parties that assist Barclays to win or
retain business are compliant with the US Foreign Corrupt
Both investigations are cited in the independent review of Barclays written by
Anthony Salz, a vice-chairman of Rothschild, published at
the beginning of April this year.
The Barclays transaction was Amanda
Staveleys ticket to a £30 million fee and a
place among the Middle Easts elite
In the review, Salz says that Barclays disclosed that
commissions, fees and expenses for the October/November
capital raising amounted to £300 million, payable
primarily to Qatar Holding, Challenger and HH Sheikh Mansour
bin Zayed Al Nahyan... In view of the continuing investigations
into these capital raisings, we have not considered issues
concerning the sufficiency of disclosure or the commercial
Barclays has already, and embarrassingly, been pulled up for
the poor quality of its disclosure. When shareholders were
given the chance to vote on the capital raising on November 24,
they were told unequivocally that the investment was being made
personally by Abu Dhabis Sheikh Mansour himself. The
following day, the small print of regulatory disclosures showed
that the £3 billion injection was actually in the name of
the International Petroleum Company (Ipic) of which Mansour is
chairman. The 2008 annual report, published in 2009,
continued to refer to Mansour as the owner of the
Barclays says that it made amendments as soon as it was made
aware of them, and that the annual report was a drafting error.
But the bank was left with egg on its face when these errors
were disclosed in a BBC Panorama documentary about Barclays in
March this year.
In fact, the documents seen by Euromoney reveal that the
nature of Mansours investment was much more complicated
than the drafting error revealed, involving a series of shelf
companies called PCP Gulf Invest 1, 2 and 3 first set up in
Staveleys name and that of her partner at PCP, Craig
Eadie, that were then transferred into Abu Dhabis
beneficial ownership. But not in Mansours name. The
transfer was into the private company of his close colleague,
Khadem Al-Qubaisi, the managing director of Ipic and one of
the most prominent businessmen in the Gulf.